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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: How much will private hospitals charge from people for each dose of Covid-19 vaccine? With the private health centres being all set to procure vaccines directly from manufacturers from May 1, lack of clarity on the cost per dose has triggered confusion among the citizens.

It is pertinent to mention here that private hospitals would not get vaccines from May 1, as per the new liberalised policy announced by the Centre.

Acting on the same, Odisha State health director, Bijay Panigrahi said, “We will not provide vaccines to private hospitals from the doses supplied by the Government of India. They will directly procure vaccines from the manufacturers and conduct vaccination.”

Till now, the private hospitals has been procuring vaccines at a mandated price of Rs 150 per dose and after adding the processing fees of Rs 100, they were charging Rs 250 from beneficiaries.

The Serum Institute of India on Wednesday announced that its Covid-19 vaccine Covishield will be sold at Rs 400 a shot to state governments and Rs 600 to private hospitals.

So, if the private hospitals will procure the dose at Rs 600, how much will they charge from the beneficiaries?

When asked, Director Bijay Panigrahi said, “I cannot provide much information about this. Because the manufacturer has fixed the price at Rs 600 for private hospitals. Whether the price include the transport cost or not will be decided by both the parties,” said Panigrahi.

Dilip Patra, a senior citizen said, “Whether we have to pay Rs 250 or Rs 600 or it will be free of cost, it is completely a messy situation now. The government has not clarified it so far.”

The Centre had on April 19 announced a ‘liberalised’ policy, making all above 18 years of age eligible to get vaccinated from May 1. Subsequently, the governments of Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh announced free vaccinations for all above 18-years.

Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi demanded free vaccines in the State. “FREE VACCINES must be provided to those who are above 18 years in Odisha. When Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh have announced free vaccines, why not Odisha? Why this delay in this decision? We are waiting,” she wrote on Twitter.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)

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